MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “lies”

Jasmin’s Prince

Her name was Jasmin. She was named after her mother’s favourite flower, one symbolising love, beauty and good luck. She had blue eyes and long black silky hair.

When she was young she was thrilled to discover that one of her favourite princesses bore the same name. She believed she was destined for greatness and always strived to achieve it.

But this had the disadvantage that, on this account, nothing (and often no one) was good enough.

So when she met her prince, she stifled him because the reality did not fit the perspective she had imagined. It was the problem of having too many expectations. They caused too great a heartache and too much disappointment when they were not met.

Unlike her gentle and kind character, she began to get angry too often. In her head, it wasn’t this difficult to be with someone, to communicate, to get along. She was enraged that things were not turning out the way she hoped.

And then his behaviour made it all worse. He began to pull away, talking to her less and not spending time together. She despised that he was lying to her. Even for the simplest of things under the pretext of “not wanting to upset her”. It made everything worse. Because she knew what the truth was and how he was lying about it. It made her feel as if he didn’t think she could handle the truth or that he did not trust her. She had always wondered, if people are doing things that they have to lie about, then why do them in the first place?

She was a person of discipline and order, and uncertainty did not fare well with her. So she began to walk away too, giving up trying to reconcile their romance. But in her heart she still hoped he would see clearly and claim her back. He always knew how to do that at first: it only took a flower, a kiss, a kind gesture, and she would melt in his arms. Princes have that ability: to charm you.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves

http://www.trueactivist.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/photo_2016-11-28_02-10-26.jpgSociety, they say, is a reflection of its people. Of their mentality, their habits, their behaviour. Similarly, rulers, or rather the ruling elite, the leaders on top, ideally represent the people they ‘serve’. Regardless if they eventually convert to serving and satisfying their own needs at the expense of the populace.

Carl Thomas, an American journalist, had said: “in a free society, government reflects the soul of its people. If people want change at the top, they will have to live in different ways. Our major social problems are not the cause of our decadence. They are a reflection of it”.

People are seen as naïve; no matter how educated they want to believe they are. Because in the end we all prefer to believe comforting lies than inconvenient truths. And in the case of the populace, history has proven that they will support the person who gives them the biggest lie. Because it covers up more of their life’s dissatisfaction.

Between history and politics, the latter has also proven to be the strongest. Because it manages to repeat itself. And we seem to be unable to learn from history. We allow ourselves to keep falling in the same traps, even if we know how things turn out – how the post is more important than the knowledge or skills; how clientelism rages everywhere; how civil administration does not work for the people but for those in charge of it; how rulers everywhere seek to primarily further their own aims and then their county’s – if at all. Yet, we prove wanting in many ways and incapable of changing anything for the better. Because improving things takes work. And no one is willing to do it.

We’d rather engage in big talk and criticism rather than act.  And that is our greatest weakness.

Seeing is believing…or maybe not?

Don't believe everything you see - Abe LincolnHarold led an ideal life. He was the Gladstone Gander of the real world. He graduated college top of his class with businesses lining up with offers for employment. He found the job he wanted as soon as he had his diploma in hand, lived in a penthouse in the city centre, and had a vibrant social life. In short, life was good for Harold.

Or was it?

This is what Harold boasted on social media. That everything was going according to plan. That he loved his job and colleagues, that he was remunerated more than adequately, that he won every scratch card he got his hands on.

But this was far from the truth.

Because as Takehito Koyasu says, “You shouldn’t believe everything. What you see isn’t always right….The truth is in a place you can’t see.

In reality, Harold was unhappy. He barely graduated college because he had a miserable student life, with roommates he did not get along with, subjects he did not find interesting, and motivation that was lacking. Once he graduated, he worked as a waiter for five years, before landing a job at a company that paid a little over minimum wage and allowed him to attempt to practice what he studied. His social life was almost non-existent because of the very few friends he had and due to his introvert nature. He lived in an apartment on the ground floor that cost more than it was worth. And what is more, Harold never won the lottery or any scratch card he invested his money in.

Social media is an easy way of creating the life you wish you had. Because no-one can prove what you assert; and given the right angle or photo-shop, anything can appear skewed from the truth. It is just another demonstration of how gullible we all truly are. People will believe almost anything, even without proof. Why? Maybe because deep down we still want to believe in the good nature present in all, that we won’t lie to each other, because there is really no point in doing so. In the end, we are only lying to ourselves.

What you know…or you think you do

01c-day-of-knowledge-2011There are many sayings which argue that knowledge is power. I don’t know however how strong it is, particularly in an era when what you know comes second to who you know… Nonetheless, we all have fun with seemingly useless and random information, like “If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn white”. You never know when it will come in handy – well maybe not the goldfish fact, but you might need to know, for example that there are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos, or that a “hairbreadth away” is 1/48 of an inch, and an inch is 2.54 centimeters. Either way, it is certainly better to know something than to be found in a situation where you need to frown, blush and pretend to be muttering something in order to avoid that awkward moment of not knowing the right response.

But sometimes what you think you know is not even close to what you actually do. A very interesting online survey concerning public knowledge of science and religion in the US has actually revealed just that. That even things you presume as given, as guaranteed knowledge, and as obvious facts, are…well, not.

There are people who don’t know that carbon dioxide causes rising temperatures, despite climate change, global warming and greenhouse gases being a major concern of the 21st century. Even in things that are considered basic knowledge, people are found lacking information, or simply appearing ignorant of these facts.

Teachers and lecturers themselves can testify on the “pearls of wisdom” found in student responses. And although some are imaginative and creative, others are simply silly.

Even in enquiring young people at random what national holiday a country is celebrating at a given day, receives replies that definitely call for a face-palm simply to avoid slapping them right then and there. To some extremes, some people don’t even know what Christmas and Easter stand for, apart from presents and chocolate eggs respectively. Gulping at amazement at the response, people who know the right answer are left wondering what exactly it is that education these days offers. And whose fault is it – the education system’s? The educators? Or the people themselves? Is it that we are so lost in the mundane and the casual that we no longer care about the important stuff? Or is it because our attention span is depleting to such an extent due to the technology peak that we can no longer truly concentrate on storing long-term valuable information?

Whichever the answer, the words of Confucius resonate soundly in an era of widespread information but little knowledge: “real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Pants on Fire

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